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A Bid to Park Recalled GM Cars Is Denied

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Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/business/move-to-ban-recalled-gm-cars-from-roads-is-denied.html

Are electric cars money savers? Depends where you live.

Electric cars save on energy use, but incentives and other factors mean the savings can vary significantly by state. So which state’s drivers get the quickest return on their electric-car? The answer will surprise you. 

By

Stephen EdelsteinGuest blogger /
April 16, 2014

Customers check out a new Tesla all electric car at a Tesla showroom inside the Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati. Electric car savings vary greatly state by state due to factors like incentives and gas prices.

Al Behrman/AP/File



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Saving money on the energy used for every mile traveled is one of the most attractive aspects of electric cars.

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The website focuses on the auto industry’s future, the evolution of cars beyond fossil fuels, and the green movement’s relevance to car shoppers today. For more stories on green cars, click here.

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Yet varying incentives and other factors mean the savings can vary significantly by state.

So which state’s drivers get the quickest return on their electric-car investment?

RECOMMENDED:

Are you a smart car buyer? Take the quiz.

According to a recent Navigant Research blog post, it’s not the green-car mecca of California. It’s Indiana.

Hoosier drivers enjoy an average savings of $0.11 per mile over the average gasoline car.

In the state with the lowest savings over gasoline–Hawaii–that number is much lower, at $0.03 per mile. [Read more...]

Article source: http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2014/0416/Are-electric-cars-money-savers-Depends-where-you-live.

Uncle Sam Wants You to Drive: 5 Tax Breaks for Cars in the US Tax Code

It’s April 15. If you bought an electric car in 2013, you can claim a tax break today. If you bought a plug-in hybrid, you can get a tax break today. But if you don’t own a car and walk to work instead? Sorry, Charlie.

Drive too much? Congratulations, you get a tax break. Photo: ##https://www.flickr.com/photos/86530412@N02/8264919801/##Chris Potter/flickr##

Bought a shiny new electric car? Congratulations, you get a huge tax break. Photo: Chris Potter/Flickr

There’s a whole array of goodies in the U.S. tax code for drivers, the automobile industry, and oil companies. Here are the ABC’s (and the DE’s) of these tax-day gifts that help clog our streets with cars.

Alternative vehicle logistics. President Obama wants to extend the tax break for people who invest in properties involved in the production of advanced vehicles or the fuels they use. The Treasury Department argues that the $2.3 billion allocated for this incentive under the 2009 stimulus wasn’t enough, and that it didn’t reach more than two-thirds of eligible applicants.

Biofuels. You can get a dollar from Uncle Sam for every gallon of biodiesel you produce, though this is the last year for that one.

Car commuting and driving for work. The granddaddy of all tax incentives for driving is the $250 per month that car commuters can claim in tax-free income to cover parking expenses. Once you’re on the clock, your driving expenses are also eligible for a tax deduction. The IRS lets you write off 56.5 cents for every mile you drive for your job. As Turbo Tax’s fact sheet says plainly: “More miles, more money.” You can even write off trips to search for a job, see a rental property you own, or do volunteer work (though that one gets a lower rate). In some cases, you can even claim deductions for car washing and polishing.

Drilling. Oil companies can write off costs associated with drilling and for the amount of oil taken out of (“depleted” from) their wells. They also get a big thank-you from Uncle Sam for not exporting jobs to China. According to The Atlantic, those three tax expenditures alone will cost taxpayers $37 billion over the next decade. Despite repeated efforts to repeal these subsidies, including for deficit-reduction purposes, they live on.

EVs. The Obama administration announced last month that the tax incentives for alternative fuel vehicles aren’t big enough yet. The White House wants to increase the maximum tax credit for purchasing electric vehicles from $7,500 to $10,000 and broaden it to include a wider range of “advanced technology vehicles.” The reason? President Obama thinks putting a million of these cars on the road by 2015 would “reduce dependence on foreign oil and lead to a reduction in oil consumption of about 750 million barrels through 2030.”

You know what else reduces dependence on all oil, foreign or otherwise? Not driving. It’s also a great way to reduce wear and tear on roads, decrease congestion, and make places more economically productive. (Is there anything that not-driving can’t do?)

Plus, according to the Federal Highway Administration, zero-vehicle households are disproportionately low-income. Sixty percent of them have incomes under $20,000, compared with just 16 percent of the vehicle-owning population. Meanwhile, the affluence of the EV-owning population is off the charts: A recent survey of electric car owners found that 30 percent of them make over $200,000 a year [PDF]. So credits for EVs are fundamentally regressive.

Obama also wants to increase the maximum tax credit for advanced technology medium-duty trucks from $20,000 to $25,000 and to maintain the $40,000 benefit for heavy-duty trucks.

Fuel Tax. And while it’s not a tax-day thing, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the federal gas tax, stuck at 18.4 cents a gallon though improved fuel efficiency and inflation combined have reduced the value of the tax by 28 percent since 1997 [PDF]. Despite a widespread understanding of shortfalls in federal transportation funding, the political will to actually raise the gas tax is nearly nonexistent.

Article source: http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/04/15/uncle-sam-wants-you-to-drive-five-tax-breaks-for-cars-in-the-u-s-tax-code/

13 Cars We Can’t Wait To See At The New York Auto Show

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible

General Motors

The New York International Auto Show kicks off next week, and we’ll be on the scene for the press preview days to check out what the world’s biggest automakers have been working on.

The show, the most popular in North America, will be open to the public April 19 to 27.

If you’ll be in the area and want to see the future of the auto industry, it’s worth making the trek to the Jacob Javits Center.

From the Land Rover concept that’s partly “invisible” to the hugely powerful new Corvette Z06 convertible, here are 13 cars you don’t want to miss.

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The Focus is the best-selling vehicle nameplate on the planet, Ford boasts. The automaker is looking to keep that going with the 2015 Focus sedan. We’re even more excited for the ST performance version Ford says is coming later this year.

BMW has been the trendsetter in the “sports activity coupe” segment, little cars with the muscular look of an SUV. The new X4 will come with two engine options and start for $45,625.

No auto show is complete with a dash of opulence, so we can thank Rolls-Royce for bringing its latest to American shores after its world debut in Geneva in March. The new Ghost II will be packed with luxuries like on-board WiFi and a satellite-aided transmission that uses GPS to select the perfect gear for every situation.

The new Corvette Z06 arrived at the Detroit Auto Show in January, so now it’s time for the convertible to make its debut. GM calls the new ride a “world-class supercar,” built to deliver 600 horsepower, 600 pound-feet of torque, all in an aluminum structure that should keep the topless body stiff under tough conditions.

The mid-engined 4C isn’t new to those who follow the auto industry, but its appearance in New York marks Alfa Romeo’s return to the North American market. Based on the reviews of the 4C we’ve seen so far, that’s great news for Americans.

BMW has slowly entered the electric game with the i3 and i8, and is pushing ahead with the Concept X5 eDrive. The Germans say it “fus[es] the familiar brand of driving pleasure generated by the xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system and a luxurious ambience enshrined within an interior offering tremendous versatility of use with a plug-in hybrid drive system.”

Mercedes has pumped up the power and cut down the weight for the new S63 AMG 4MATIC coupe. A 5.5-liter V8 engine pumps out nearly 600 horsepower, good for a 0 to 60 mph time under 4 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph (both estimated).

Acura showed off a prototype of the TLX performance-luxury sedan at the Detroit show in January (pictured), and it’s bringing the production version to New York. It promises “vault-like quietness” and will come with a 2.4-liter or a 3.5-liter engine.

Not everything can be a two-door monster on the track. Kia is looking for more practical-minded buyers with the all-new 2015 Sedona “multi-purpose vehicle” (aka minivan).

Land Rover’s Discovery Concept will show off its “Transparent Hood” technology, which projects camera images onto a heads-up display in the windshield to show drivers what’s under the hood. That’s great for driving on rough terrain.

Volkswagen is coming to New York with a diesel concept car that “previews a bigger, more spacious, and more fuel-efficient replacement for the Jetta SportWagen” (pictured).

New York isn’t a debut for the 2015 Escalade, but the latest version of Cadillac’s luxury SUV just went on sale and will still be new to most of the public. We drove the new one earlier this month and were quite impressed.

Jeep has been having an awesome 2014, sales to date are up 45% over 2013. The all-new 2015 Renegade is the brand’s first entry in the small SUV market, and it’s designed with 16 powertrain combinations to help sales around the world.

Now see what we thought of another amazing ride.

What It’s Like To Live With The $316,000 Ferrari F12berlinetta

Article source: http://www.businessinsider.com/ny-auto-show-preview-2014-4

Forbes Launches Sixth EBook In Its 2014 Series: Curbing Cars: America’s …

New York, NY  (April 15, 2014) – Forbes announced today the release of the sixth title in its 2014 e-book line, Curbing Cars: America’s Independence From the Auto Industry, by Forbes Contributor Micheline Maynard.  The new e-book, produced and distributed by Vook, looks at one of the biggest changes over the past decade: Americans are driving less, and fewer teens and young people are getting their driver’s licenses.

Americans are looking at alternatives to driving cars, such as using public transportation and taxi services, car-sharing and bike-sharing opportunities, and walking to more destinations. While some are giving up cars completely, others are adopting a style called “driving light” and using their cars when there are no other transportation options.  This e-book explains four reasons as to why this is happening:

  • Mobile apps and other types of technology are making it possible to do things that used to require owning a car. For young people, a smartphone ranks higher in importance than a car.
  • After the recession of 2008, people are more attuned to the expense involved in owning a car. The average price of a new car is $33,000.  Car payments, parking, repairs and gasoline are additional expenses incurred for a car that might be used less than an hour a day.
  • For some, giving up a car is a way to protect the environment, so they prefer riding a bicycle or taking public transportation.
  • The Obama administration, which spent $82 billion to save the U.S. auto industry, is spending additional billions for cities to create new bike lanes, streetcars, light rail systems and other non-automotive infrastructure.

Forbes Contributor Micheline Maynard is a Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University.  She is the former Detroit Bureau Chief for the New York Times and was senior editor of the public media project Changing Gears.  She has authored four books, including The End of Detroit: How The Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Market.   Forbes’ 2014 e-book line will feature several unique subjects over the upcoming months, including How the World Changed For Millenials.

About Forbes Media

Forbes Media, publisher of Forbes magazine and forbes.com, is an authoritative source of news and information on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and affluent lifestyles.  Forbes.com, a leading business website, currently reaches 28 million unique monthly visitors, according to January 2014 comScore worldwide.  Forbes magazine, Forbes Asia and Forbes Europe attract a global audience of more than 5 million readers. The Forbes magazine iPad app merges the power of print storytelling with social sharing and the web.  The Company also publishes ForbesLife magazine and has 34 licensed local editions around the world.

Contact:    Wendy Furrer Egan, wfurrer-egan@forbes.com, 212.366.8848

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbespr/2014/04/15/forbes-launches-sixth-ebook-in-its-2014-series-curbing-cars-americas-independence-from-the-auto-industry/

New York showcases the cars of your future

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible
Chevrolet replaces the Corvette Z06′s hard-top with cloth, while retaining track performance.
GM

The New York International Auto Show opens Easter weekend, and like the budding blooms on tree and flower stem, automakers will show off their newest pieces of work, vehicles ready to be picked by consumers by summer and fall. Unlike the recent Geneva show, with its stunning exotics and concepts, the 2014 New York auto show will feature cars designed for the common driver.

Far from pedestrian, however, the offerings have cultivated quite a bit of excitement. Leading the pack is the everyman’s supercar, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, which will be seen for the first time in rag-top form. That’s right — not only will this new Corvette Z06 give Ferraris and Lamborghinis a run for their money on the track at a third of the cost, but it lets you put the top down and enjoy a warm drive in the country. Chevrolet notes that chopping off the roof resulted in no compromise for the car’s performance.

BMW makes a similar move, coming up with a convertible top version of its all-new M4 performance car. More intriguing will be the 2015 BMW X4, a car of similar proportions to the X3 SUV but with the aggressive styling of the X6. The X4 follows BMW’s medium-size pattern by coming with either a turbo four-cylinder or a turbo inline six-cylinder engine. The dashboard gets the company’s very latest version of iDrive for touch-pad control of onscreen menus.

2015 Dodge Charger
The new Dodge Charger gets front-end styling similar to that of the Durango.
Dodge

Dodge hits the show floor with a double whammy: the 2015 Challenger and the 2015 Charger, both redesigned from top to bottom. Dodge has been cagey about the details, but a teaser shot of the Charger’s headlight and grille shows modernized styling similar to the new Durango. Headlights are subtly integrated into the front, bookending the cross-beam grille. For the new Challenger, Dodge hints at the legendary Superbee for its drivetrain tech.

Acura is on board with its all-new TLX model, part of a full line revamp that has already seen the ILX and the RLX. The premium TLX will sit between these two models on the lineup, retaining Acura’s premium feel and featuring new drivetrain tech. Similar to the RLX, the TLX will get a direct injection 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, but the more interesting option will be the direct injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder and its eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

2015 Nissan Murano
Nissan gives its new Murano boomerang headlights with optional LEDs.
Nissan

Nissan has announced the 2015 Murano for the show, its popular crossover vehicle redesigned to be an ‘upscale social lounge.’ New styling elements include Nissan’s now standard boomerang headlights, which can optionally hold LED projectors. The 2015 Murano retains its 3.5-liter V-6 with fuel economy primarily helped by a continuously variable transmission, a technology of which Nissan is the undisputed master.

There are quite a few more enticing releases set for the show, such as GTS versions of Porsche’s Boxster and Cayman, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, and the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta. Wagon enthusiasts will appreciate the Golf SportWagen that Volkswagen will bring to the show. And for a little mystique, Land Rover brings out its Discovery Vision concept, which should be a predecessor to a new LR2.

As always, be prepared for a few surprises as the automakers pull off the covers.

The 2014 New York auto show runs from April 18 to 27. CNET’s coverage will begin this week during press preview days.

Article source: http://www.cnet.com/news/new-york-showcases-the-cars-of-your-future/

Mustang Celebrates 50 Years of Muscle Cars

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Article source: http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/mustang-celebrates-50-years-muscle-cars-n80416

Apple CarPlay Coming to Older Cars?

New car owners aren’t the only ones who will be able to take advantage of Apple’s CarPlay technology.

Car electronics manufacturer Alpine is prepping a standalone aftermarket console that will support Apple’s new in-car iOS platform, according to a new report from Japanese business newspaper Nikkei. The device will reportedly be available in the U.S. and Europe this fall for around $500 to $700.

The Alpine system will be compatible with the iPhone 5 and newer models, letting drivers view maps from their phone on a 7-inch screen and use voice commands to access messages, make calls, and play music. It will also read your messages and directions out loud.

Alpine is aiming to be the first to market with an aftermarket CarPlay product, but it’s not the only company looking to support the Apple technology. Car device maker Clarion is also working on a CarPlay-enabled in-dash system and eventually plans to support the feature in its aftermarket and OEM products, according to MacRumors.

Unveiled last month, CarPlay is billed as a “smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car.” It syncs your iPhone with your car’s built-in display and features Siri voice control, letting you easily get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music while keeping your hands on the steering wheel.

CarPlay will make its debut this year in select cars from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. Other car makers said to be embracing the technology include: BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota. Those with older cars, however, are thus far out of luck, but solutions from the likes of Alpine and Clarion could change that.

For more, see 5 Things to Know About Apple CarPlay.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2456520,00.asp

Our cars: VW Amarok – A new challenger appears

volkswagen-amarok20111600x1200wallpaper4a.jpg

So the day has come, a new crew car. The Leon remains, for now, not a jilted ex-lover hanging around embarrassingly after the love has long gone, I’m having trouble letting go. It seems after all the complaints when the Hilux departed, the ‘it’s too small’ and ‘it won’t work’, the Leon found its way into my shrivelled heart…via my wallet. Although I adore our mental modded Toyota and now smile whenever I see a Hilux, I still have recurring nightmares about its mpg, (it seemed to average about 20) the fact that on trips to Wales shooting supercars I often shelled out more on the Hilux’s diesel addiction than Alex did on an Audi R8 V10.

Now the days of giant pickups were back, but how could it live up to the Hilux, our beloved behemoth complete with a badass custom XCAR wrap courtesy of the talented Ian Cook. I entered the car park with trepidation, and saw the old and the new standing side by side.

I’d forgotten quite how enormous these pickups could be, and our Volkswagen Amarok was simply enormous. It comically dwarfed the Leon, and climbing into the monstrous double cab I had to peer childlike over the windows to even see it again. So many feelings flooded back, the joy of riding through London’s streets high up, being able to see that gridlocked traffic for miles in every direction and thinking if you wanted to, you could simply drive over it. I also made a mental note to wear more plaid, American wannabe Nick was back.

Our first real drive funnily enough ended up being a trip to North Wales, in the company of an Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. The challenge was on, yet from the key turning it felt like the Amarok was somehow cheating. Starting it I didn’t feel the earthly judder and tractoral (spell check me all you like that’s now a word) roar, the small-on-the-Richter-scale shake as a mighty diesel grumpily unfurls itself. This feels (DON’T cringe) refined…for some reason I hate that word when mentioned with cars, it feels cliché but yet all through town and on the motorway the same word bounced around my head. No wheel judder at speed, it doesn’t sound like a convertible at 70, calm, collected, and as I hawk-eyed the fuel counter every eight seconds, could it be economical? For a several ton beast it seemed that way, and complete with start-stop this Bluemotion model felt like it might just have the best of both worlds. I can fit EVERYTHING in here (three large camera bags, two tripods, jib, slider, lights, overnight bags for crew and crew themselves…along with empty drink/food containers/pizza boxes) comfortably but it won’t leave me penniless.

Over the shoot I rediscovered the Achilles heel on this type of vehicle, shooting car to car footage isn’t spectacular due to the ride, the rear pickup bay is bang over those enormous rear wheels and those leaf springs aren’t designed for smooth video motion but that’s just the thing, this isn’t designed for that, and it does so much else with ease it seems to be the one thing I will have to sacrifice. To add onto the refined cliché, it is the Volkswagen of pickup trucks, literally and figuratively.

Final fuel bill: Aston Martin £180; Volkswagen Amarok £107. Not bad for

Article source: http://www.cnet.com/news/our-cars-vw-amarok-a-new-challenger-appears/

Barrett-Jackson Sunday: Five Cars to Watch


54 olds

This tricked-out 1954 Oldsmobile Holiday 88 Custom Roadster should draw plenty of attention Sunday at the Palm Beach auction. ( photo)

It’s the third and final day of the 12th annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Collector Car Auction and so far, the event has been a huge success with a great docket of more than 550 , millions raised for charity and massive crowds.

Today, the focus is on the fun, the funky and the affordable collector cars, the kinds of rides that are perfect for weekend jaunts rather than some of the uber-high-dollar cars that end up as museum pieces.

With that in mind, here are Sunday’s Five To Watch cars from Palm Beach:

LOT 634, 1954 OLDSMOBILE CUSTOM ROADSTER

A wonderful, period-correct cruiser, this 1954 Oldsmobile Holiday 88 Custom roadster evokes the legendary customizer Gene Winfield. This Olds is chopped, channeled, shaved, decked, frenched and about everything else you can do.

UPDATE: One of the very best buys of the entire auction, this big green Olds, a nicely done custom, went for a gavel price of just $20,000.

LOT 642, 1998 LaFORZA SUV

la forza

An Italian SUV? You bet. The LaForza combined bits of a whole bunch of different vehicles: A Ford 5.0-liter engine, a Chrysler four-wheel-drive system, suspension derived from a Fiat army truck and a paint job that looks like it rolled out of the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy.

UPDATE: The Italian Stallion was quite a looker, and it hammered for $25,000.

LOT 662, 2008 CADILLAC XLR CUSTOM ROADSTER

cadillac xlr

The Cadillac XLR was a really nice two-seat convertible derived from the previous-generation Corvette. Somebody spent north of $164,000 to make this look like a classic custom. The consignor states the conversion took 4,000 man hours, which begs the question, why?

UPDATE: It may have looked outrageous, but it brought respectable money, crossing the block at $37,000.

LOT 682, 1969 AMERICAN MOTORS AMX

amx

Sure, there are a zillion blue vintage Camaros and Mustangs on the road, but how often do you see a really cherry AMX like this one? This two-seater has the rare and highly desirable Go-Pack option, with period-correct olive green paint over tan interior.

UPDATE: The very definition of cheap thrills, somebody got a muscle car for credit-card money, as it hammers for just $14,000.

LOT 688, 1958 ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER CLOUD

rollys-royce

You will see many new Bentleys and Rolls-Royce around South Florida, but you sure don’t see a lot of the vintage ones. This 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud looks fabulous in two-tone silver and black paint, and it certainly cuts an  imposing figure.

UPDATE: Clearly, two bidders wanted this, because someone paid $100,000 for this baby. Wow, just wow. 

Article source: http://msn.foxsports.com/motor/story/barrett-jackson-sunday-five-cars-to-watch-041314